Warning: This Is Depressing.

July 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

About a week ago, I decided to surprise Scott by “adopting” the National Zoo’s red pandas in his name — the pair there had just given birth to their first baby. (Sadly, this means you give them a donation and you get a tax deduction, not an actual red panda. Sad, I know.)

That night I gave him the paperwork, it was adorable, and then we watched red panda videos on the Apple TV for a solid hour and talked about how we couldn’t wait for mom and baby to go back into their exhibit (they’d been quarantined for bonding time) so we could visit and point and squeal.

Yesterday, we got this in the mail:

Amazing, right?

It’s a box with LIVE ANIMALS and DO NOT FEED written all over it and holes punched in it. Inside is a very well-done stuffed version of a red panda, along with a tote bag, and a thank you letter. I wasn’t expecting anything other than the letter — so I was above and beyond pleasantly surprised (and also a little bummed that I had blown the surprise when this would’ve been much, much better than a piece of paper).

It also reminded me: We needed to check when mom and baby were going on display!

So we did.

And the baby had died.

(I WARNED YOU.)

It’s a little sad now, seeing this stuffed version of the red panda around the house, getting weirdly attacked by cats and knowing that. And, at the same time, I feel good knowing that I couldn’t be the only one who’d heard the news and made a contribution. The zoo needs people like that, in good times and in bad, when things are cute and when they’re old and mean and schizophrenic (cough Knut cough) — and this makes me want to step up my support all the time.

(I’m also posting my all-time favorite red panda video, possibly my all-time favorite animal video, to cheer you up just in case you want to kill yourself after this rollercoaster. Fast forward to 0:40 and the headbutting will heal your soul.)

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